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Pacific Northwest | May 9, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineMay 9, 2004seattletimes.com home
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CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
ON FITNESS
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT

Dreams Submerged
Photo
COURTESY OF DAN KERLEE
Eastside expert Alan Stein took the "now" photo from the small boat moorage extending from the former site of the Kirkland Ferry Dock. It repeats the 1890s view of the old Kirkland Dock at the foot of Market Street.
Photo
ALAN STEIN


HAIL TO ALAN Stein, historylink historian and Eastside expert, who advised me how to venture beneath the waters of Lake Washington to complete the "now" scene for this historical view of the old Kirkland Dock. But before going under, we will make our remarks about the landmarks shown here on shore and just off.

From its founding by Peter Kirk in the late 1880s to the completion of the floating bridge to Bellevue in 1940, Kirkland was the principal town on the east shore of Lake Washington — this despite the failures of its early history. Kirk, a Scottish steel producer, intended to transform the banks of Moss Bay into the "Pittsburgh of the West," but after more than one setback, Kirkland quickly developed instead into what the official slogan it adopted in 1926 said it was, "The Gateway to Seattle."

Through its earliest years, this dock at the foot of Market Street was the community's front door. Kirk meant for Market (right of center) to be the town's main street. He built a brick factory to help raise a substantial town, including the four buildings here on the far right. One of these, the Peter Kirk Building on the horizon at the far right, survives and is a landmark.

But it is the floating landmark, the Elfin, tied to the dock that could regularly carry you to Seattle's back door at Madison Park. This photo almost certainly dates from the 1890s, for the 55-foot-long steamer was built on the lake in 1891 and also burned on it in 1900.

Now we will go jump in the lake with Stein. As veep of the Kirkland Heritage Society, he recommends a visit to www.scret.org/LkWaSteamers/LakeWaTarget1.asp for a look at what is most likely the Elfin resting in 125 feet of water off Kirkland's Carillon Point.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

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